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Hello Guest!
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California - What are you doing this month?

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Post  sanderson 4/2/2015, 3:20 am

A little back ground.  2014 was the year of no tomatoes due to the curly leaf disease in this area.  So, I'm very hopeful this year that I will have a successful crop.  This is a potted yellow pear, and my finger. California - What are you doing this month? - Page 32 Tomato10

Here are 6 toms in the long TT, along with peppers, herbs, borage and salvia. California - What are you doing this month? - Page 32 Tomato11

A long view of of a tom in a TT, 2 in 5-gal buckets, summer squash in pots and cages and Dragon Tongue beans in the second bed.  Also showing are wood chips and compost on the dirt flower bed. California - What are you doing this month? - Page 32 Garden10

At this time, 19 tomatoes of several varieties are growing. If I canned or preserved last year, I would have had zero cans for this past winter. It seems that one should can 2 years worth in case a disease or insect wipes out a crop the following year. Just a rambling thought.


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Post  audrey.jeanne.roberts 4/2/2015, 11:51 am

I have planted just about everything from my starts.  Now I have to go back through my seeds and see if I missed anything!  

We removed the front and back panels from my greenhouse.  They are sun rotted so next fall we'll replace with professional grade 6 mil film.  Today (if the wind stays calm) we're going to put the sun shade on top so the green house will become the place to grow the things that need it a little cooler.  

I have to buy a few more seeds for my son-in-law so I'm going to buy some dragon tongue beans since you all have raved about them!  Anything else that is a "must have?!"
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Post  sanderson 4/2/2015, 12:24 pm

Lemon cucumber? (I can send you seeds if you want to try them first)

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Post  audrey.jeanne.roberts 4/2/2015, 3:06 pm

I have lemon cucumber and LOVE them :-)  

Hey, did you get any cold damage last night?  I did.  I have squash that are wilted this morning.  It must have gotten fairly cold without freezing last night.  Of course it would happen after NO FREEZES since the New Year - geesh!
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Post  yolos 4/2/2015, 4:15 pm

Sanderson - everything looks so pretty and healthy.  I just love the green plants against a background of nice new looking straw.  Beautiful.
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Post  sanderson 4/2/2015, 4:55 pm

Thanks Yolos. I have told my husband that when we sell the house, it will have to be in an April!

Audrey, In the 40's last night and expected to hold for the next 10 days. I'm sorry you got hit. What gives with our weather?? Oh, this is California.

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Post  jan76 4/5/2015, 10:03 pm

Same thing happened to me in 2009 when my area (northeastern Calif) had a ice storm in early May.  It killed every fruit tree blossom in our area.  I was really happy I listened to our garden group adviser from church the year before.  He talked about canning two years worth every year 'just in case.'
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Post  sanderson 4/5/2015, 10:57 pm

Hi, again, Jan. Canning for 2 year's worth is a good idea. Last year, I had no tomatoes survive. Curly leaf disease transmitted by the leaf hopper. This year looks very promising. Very Happy

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Post  sanderson 4/7/2015, 2:31 pm

And, today we have rain!!  bounce   cloudy-bummer  

I spent yesterday getting the backyard cleaned up and secured for the rain.  There was quite a mess from removing the tree and grinding the stump.  Our brick and sand patio extension was covered with dirt and grindings with weeds popping up between the bricks.  Buckets, garbage cans and totes used for storage or carrying chips were washed and turned upside down.  The wood chips I have been slowing spreading in the dirt flower beds are 95% spread and the neat thing is I can walk on them without getting muddy!  It finally dawned on me that I can use rubber chips around the foundation of the house.  They won't support termites!!  But, they will help as mulch or covering the dirt to keep dirt from being splashed up on the stucco.  (Yes, there are a few rainy days, just not enough or cold enough to make enough snow in the mountains)

The area with dirt and stump grindings.  Before: California - What are you doing this month? - Page 32 Tree_c12

Today: California - What are you doing this month? - Page 32 Rain_410

Still have to repair the bricks and replace the old lattice, but so much more pleasing.  The flowers are my own seedlings. We managed to use some of the "moldy" stump grindings and dirt in the little flower bed plus scattered around the star jasmines. Inside, I'm washing the seedling cups and trays for storage until Feb 2016. What are the rest of you doing this rainy day?

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Post  audrey.jeanne.roberts 4/7/2015, 3:16 pm

I cleaned and organized but you would never actually notice a difference, LOL!  Your yard looks lovely - mine is "utilitarian!"

However, when the rain stops I'll post a picture of my front garden it's looking beautiful and my irises just started blooming.  They're gorgeous!  My snapdragons are 3 feet tall and my husband keeps coming in the house and asking me what those flowers are called and telling me how pretty they are (then he forgets and asks the next day, LOL!)
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Post  audrey.jeanne.roberts 4/7/2015, 7:31 pm

We're supposed to get down to 36 or below tonight - AND I just took the ends off of my greenhouse so we have to improvise to seal it up tonight.  I also need to cover every squash and melon I have planted out in the yard.  

Hubby is running to the local hardware store to get some more clamps.

Never a dull moment with California's weather (except our long, hot, miserable summers!)
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Post  audrey.jeanne.roberts 4/8/2015, 11:19 am

Well, none of the weather services show it, but we had frost last night and when I uncovered one area of my garden this morning the cover had 1/8" of ICE on it.  AND I managed to forget to cover my most important area that has my cucumbers and best squash plants grrrrrrrrrrr!

Oh well.  Hopefully this will go away and I can get things started again if needed.  I'll know if I lost those plants by this afternoon  *deep sigh*
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Post  sanderson 4/8/2015, 11:56 am

Sad So sorry. Ice at this time of the year?? Who would have thought that. I still haven't started or planted any cucumbers. That box is still in the shade from the south neighbor's podacarpus and bay laurel trees. I direct sowed the cantaloup and winter squash a few days ago (when I watered the seed packets) but nothing is up. I may have to start them in seedling cups.

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Post  sanderson 4/12/2015, 5:35 am

I went ahead and bought some Hale's cantaloup and cucumber plants at HD sale in case the seeds don't come up. I also bought some yellow and zucchini squash seedlings. The 2 planted in the pots are beautiful, but one day will be a male flower, the next a female flower, the next another male. Just not enough plants to provide a male on the day a female flower opens. More plants, more chance they will get in sync. No sign of the winter squash seeds I planted a few days ago. What gives? The Rattlesnake beans are climbing their trellises and the Dragon Tongues seem to be doing fine. But the KY Wonders are dampening off. Darn the south neighbor's trees. If the box was one foot more to the north it would get a few hours of sun. Got the Black Beauty eggplant HD seedlings planted in large pots with perlite/weed cloth sandwiches at the bottoms. Most of the tomatoes are vigorous. bounce The 2 winter squash I started inside in Feb are sending out tendrils. Very Happy A glorious day for gardening, except the wind. Wouldn't you know it, I was pouring perlite.

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Post  audrey.jeanne.roberts 4/12/2015, 12:15 pm

WOW!  You got a lot done yesterday!  I replanted a few cucumber seeds as I lost two plants in the cold and we gathered a load of 3 and 4 year old straw/hay/alfalfa remains from a local man.  It was almost 2 cubic yards and most of them are fines, small size pieces.  It should compost nicely.

I got home and remembered I needed to turn my VERY large compost pile as the temps were dropping and it has fresh cow manure in it that produces huge amounts of hay grass if I don't.  I'm only turning it once a week because I have too much other work to be doing right now.

I had to take an Aleve as my body was pretty sore by the end of the day.
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Post  sanderson 4/12/2015, 7:52 pm

Only one? I don't think I would have the strength to turn a 4 by 4! I found 2 tomatillos at the 2nd HD today!! The little syrphid flies have started showing up but didn't have their favorite plants waiting for them. Also, say a Black Krim tomato that was begging to come home with me. And, I treated myself to 6 colored tomato cages. We went back in to buy a bag of rubber chips to try around the foundation of the house.

Oh, and I have had 2 "grass" pop up in the beds. Probably from the wheat seeds or real grass from the straw harvesting.

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Post  sanderson 4/21/2015, 2:16 am

I can't believe it's been 8 days since I last wrote here. Now that the cat is out of the bag, you know why I have been extra busy. Rooster will be a hard act to follow, he was quite social media / forum savvy. Me, not so much. But if a member has a problem, notify me. I'll give it the old college try. The Administrator is a whole different world behind the curtain.

I'm late on winter squash but my direct-sowed seeds finally came up. I'm still looking at the spots I sowed cantaloup seeds. idk Some of the tomatoes are starting to get curling leaves. At least they are curling upwards instead of downwards like the did that year. The weather report indicates a 20% chance of rain for the next three days. Ha!

Husband and I have been washing and bleaching the cedar fence on the public side. He cut the star jasmine that have been growing up the inside of the fence, over and back down to the ground on the public side. So, the plants should now need less water. And, we will not have to prune the massive mess it turns into. Neighbors allows comment on how lovely they smell, but we have a constant battle keeping them clean (hose = water use) and pruned. Tomorrow we will be applying a lightly tinted sealant that I used on the pine sfg boxes. It makes the boxes look like cedar so we are hoping the fence boards will once again look new.

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Post  audrey.jeanne.roberts 4/21/2015, 7:04 pm

You are one brave lady!!!!  Braver than this little chicken :-)  

If you have any questions on social media I do a bit with twitter, FB and a couple other things so I'm happy to TRY to be of help (not at all sure I would actually be of any help, LOL!)

We were gone since Friday.  We went to Lake Tahoe for a long weekend.  We're part of the FamilyLife Marriage conference team and they asked us last minute if we could come and help out.  It was certainly beautiful and if I didn't have my art show deadlines looming I would definitely have been tempted to hang out for a while!

My daughter watered for me when we were gone and everything looks like it grew so much in 4 days - isn't it amazing this time of year?
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Post  Yardslave 4/21/2015, 8:00 pm

Been a while since I posted: I'm dealing with water woes (trying to deal with the drought). This week I finished topping 17 fruit trees with a 6" deep ring of wood chippings around the base and out as far as the canopy extends . I've had to pick my battles and am planting only 2 1/2 beds out of 10, 27sq. ft. beds. So far, the beds have been planted with heat tolerant tomatoes: 2 Amish Paste, an Early Girl, Heatmaster, Park's Whopper, and a Beefstake (6 total), 2 zucchini squash plants, and 2 planted mounds of french fillet (pole) beans that seemed to tolerate the heat and low watering last year. I've covered the MM with burlap from the local coffee roasters and topped that off with 6" of donated tree trimmer's chip/mulch. I've reworked my drip lines so that the veggies get water from individual shrubbler emitters nestled below the burlap. I hope the shrubblers will be able to pour out enough to keep the thirsty plants going in August and September. I should be able to open them up to increase the flow if the need for more water arises. I'm looking for a 70% water reduction. With the price of water, I'll just have to bite the bullet and buy those almost-but-not-quite "fresh picked veggies" from the market. Mad
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Post  audrey.jeanne.roberts 4/21/2015, 10:31 pm

Yardslave wrote:Been a while since I posted: I'm dealing with water woes (trying to deal with the drought). This week I finished topping 17 fruit trees with a 6" deep ring of wood chippings around the base and out as far as the canopy extends . I've had to pick my battles and am planting only 2 1/2 beds out of 10, 27sq. ft. beds. So far, the beds have been planted with heat tolerant tomatoes: 2 Amish Paste, an Early Girl, Heatmaster, Park's Whopper, and a Beefstake (6 total), 2 zucchini squash plants, and 2 planted mounds of french fillet (pole) beans that seemed to tolerate the heat and low watering last year. I've covered the MM with burlap from the local coffee roasters and topped that off with 6" of donated tree trimmer's chip/mulch. I've reworked my drip lines so that the veggies get water from individual shrubbler emitters nestled below the burlap. I hope the shrubblers will be able to pour out enough to keep the thirsty plants going in August and September. I should be able to open them up to increase the flow if the need for more water arises. I'm looking for a 70% water reduction. With the price of water, I'll just have to bite the bullet and buy those almost-but-not-quite "fresh picked veggies" from the market. Mad
So sorry to hear what you're going through, but it is a common theme right now.  Are you using your grey water?  If I were in your position I would probably get a plastic liner bucket for my kitchen sink so that water can be easily poured out into the garden.  I use our bathtub shower because our master shower is claustrophically small so I would consider stopping it up then figure out the easiest way to get it outside.  You do have to be careful and use a natural soap rather than a detergent but in a pinch it could make a big difference.  Good luck and keep us posted!
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Post  Yardslave 4/22/2015, 11:08 am

We have buckets we haul out dishwater, bath, and shower water that is used for plants in pots. I am getting the last few drops from my catchment barrels. I've also used the collected waste water for brewing kelp and manure teas. I also sprayed down the yard and beds with a yucca based surfactant that helps save water by making water and nutrients  penetrate the soil more efficiently- really works!
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Post  audrey.jeanne.roberts 4/22/2015, 11:37 am

Where do you find this surfactant?  That sounds very interesting!
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Post  Yardslave 4/23/2015, 12:32 pm

I got it from Amazon.com... surfactant.
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Post  sanderson 4/23/2015, 12:35 pm

Yucca "soap" ? Didn't the SW Indians use it as a soap?

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Post  sanderson 4/24/2015, 3:10 pm

I also posted this in another thread.

This is a great photo of my finger and so-so of the garden in the morning from east to west.  I'm standing on a little step. California - What are you doing this month? - Page 32 Garden12

The white and pink roses are in bloom, otherwise everything would be green.  The 2 purple cages at the bottom are the 2 Iraqi tomatoes with curled up leaves.  One has 3 small tomatoes.  The tall fern-like plant just to the right of center is coriander cilantro from Baker Creek.  It went to flower right away.  I also have regular cilantro.  More views: California - What are you doing this month? - Page 32 Garden13
California - What are you doing this month? - Page 32 Garden14
Most of the pots will be moved around so there is an irrigation emitter for each pot.  That way they will survive when we have to be out of town for more than 1 or 2 days.  Plus, some will have to be shaded with curtain sheers during the heat blasts.

We rehabbed the exterior of the fence on the public side. Did you know that sunflowers and morning glories do not like bleach? The bleach spray came through the gaps between the boards. Also hit the beans but not so bad as to hurt the overall health.

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sanderson
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